Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Tony Bibus

Second Advisor

Laura Boisen

Third Advisor

Margaret Driscoll


It is becoming more common for practitioners to discuss advance directives, thereby affirming each person's right to participate in directing end-of-life care. However, little attention has been paid to models of end-of-life planning. This study, a secondary analysis of research completed in 18 La Crosse area health care organizations, explores the extent to which practitioners engage patients and surrogates in exploring values and goals while educating patients about advance directives. It also explores the communication process, including retrievability of directives. Despite uniform training throughout the community, the extent to which practitioners discuss treatment options with patients, families, and surrogates varies by setting. This study adds to the scant research in the quality of advance care planning among non-physician practitioners and suggests improvements in social work services in health care organizations. This study also discusses the implications for social work policy and practice.


SC 11.MSW.2002.Krage.KM

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Social Work Commons